Susie Orbach is fighting a losing battle against “body hatred,” said Chitra Ramaswamy in the Edinburgh Scotsman. Thirty years ago, the British psychoanalyst published Fat Is a Feminist Issue and instantly became “the Freud of the female form.” Back then, her campaign to free readers of unhealthy worries about their appearance focused mainly on Western women and pinned blame mostly on the diet industry. Today, half of all South Korean girls are having surgery to change their eye shape, thousands of Chinese girls are having rods implanted in their legs to increase height, and even men are dabbling in liposuction and Botox. “I wish we could treat our bodies as the place we live from,” Orbach says, “rather than regard it as a place to be worked on.”
Orbach’s new book, Bodies, highlights how many people now treat their appearance as an ongoing creative project, said Deborah Solomon in The New York Times. Particularly in the developing world, parents encourage their children to imitate Western standards of beauty because they see them as a mark of “modernity.” Thinking hard about such issues is one way to escape the epidemic. Orbach claims to be comfortable enough in her own skin that she hasn’t even stepped on a scale since 1988. “If I were afraid of wrinkles, I’d probably be hiding in a cupboard, because I have a lot of them.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- This is how the U.S. thinks China could invade Taiwan
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Can we lead spiritually fulfilling lives without religion?
- Surviving a plane crash
- Obama knows he can't really 'defeat' ISIS. Americans need to wake up to that reality, too.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week